tv Politics Nation MSNBC December 27, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
we need to do what any country has to do. decide the terms of their staying. we need to do it in an american, progressive way. but we have to do i. right now, our approached immigration is a joke. we don't give people dignity and we have to do that. we don't give something about the rising percentage that has been taken up by our unfunded government programs. that is the number one cause of our fiscal and debt problem and it's not going away. so it looks like 2013 is going to be real. it's going to be dealing with issues of peace and war, national identity and issues of personal security. you think it's not important? say it and you're part of the problem. and that's "hardball" for now. th thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris.
and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, the gop is in denial and they're scrambling to make a deal. the only problem? they still haven't learned that they're going to have to compromise. just hours ago, president obama returned home from christmas vacation. looking to jump start negotiations and protect millions from seeing their taxes go up. the news comes after a conference call that mr. boehner held with gop house members, telling them to return to washington this sunday. but just because they're coming back doesn't mean they're looking to play nice. today, senator harry reid blasted the speaker for refusing to even vote on a democratic plan that would protect 98% of americans. >> everyone knows that if they had brought up the house -- i'm
sorry, the senate-passed bill that would give relief to everyone making less than $250,000 a year, it would pass overwhelmingly. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. >> a dictatorship of the speaker. and here's house speaker boehner office responded. senator reid should talk less and legislate more. legislate more? what legislation has speaker boehner been working on while on vacation? while we're about to go over the cliff, the gop has been pointing fingers at the president. one gop aide says talks have failed because "the president made a strategic miscalculation and overreached. he picked a fight." picked a fight? sorry, that's not going to fly. the president has come to the table with numerous proposals.
he isn't picking a fight. he's fighting for the american people. we all want a deal. but we will not give up our core principles. the president ran on families and has the american people on his side. that's why speaker boehner and mitch mcconnell are cracking up with the clock ticking. joining me now is form er pennsylvania governor ed rendell. jerry bernstein, senior fellow at the center and jonathan, opinion writer for "the washington post" and an msnbc kriblt tor. contributor. thank you all for coming on the show. governor rendell, let me start with you. have you ever, ever seen anything like this? i mean, where is the leadership? >> yeah, this is amazing. if i were the president, i'd be
tremendously frustrated. you have to have somebody to negotiate with. there's nobody across the table for the president to strike a deal with. and the president has been forthcoming. he's been expansive. he's already moved. he's moved from 250 to 400. he's made significant steps. he's laid out some of the entitlement forms that he's willing to accept. he's moved about as far as he can move because there's nobody coming back to limb saying we'll do this and we'll do that. it's really irresponsible. >> it's very irresponsible. jonathan, you look at the fact that they're not being honestabout it. senator scott brown wrote heading back to d.c. just learned the president reached out to senate gop leadership with a proposal. it is the first such proposal to be put forth. first proposal? the president put multiple proposals on the table. but he's not the only one, jonathan, that has said this. just listen to senator mcconnell
today. listen to this. >> i say i'm a little frustrated because we've been asking the president and the democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months. the president chose to spend his time on the campaign trail. now, republicans have bent over backwards. we stepped way, way out of our comfort zone. we wanted an agreement. but we had no takers. >> just to be factual, on november 29th, the president made his opening offer to the gop. mcconnell actually burst into laughter. you can't laugh at a non-proposal. on november 17th, the president made a second offer with concessions on taxes and entitlement.
so here's three occasions. yet, they claim no proposal. or this is the first proposal. how do you deal people no leadership and that are not telling the truth? >> and to think the president cut short his christmas vacation to come back and deal with this situation, look, the president ran -- mitch mcconnell is the minority leader. but what was the president doing on the campaign trail aside from running for reelection? he was telling the american people he wanted a fair and balanced approach. that he thought that taxes should be raised for those request income above 250,$250,0. and the american people went into the voting booth and day voted decisively to reelect the
president. so mitch mcconnell, speaker john boehner, they have to deal with the fact that president obama was reelected to raise taxes on the top 2% and speaker boehner and the republicans can't get their hands around their caucus, then the blame is on them. >> jarret, what do you think about all of this? you deal with the policy. you deal with the numbers. there has been some offers from the president, even to the chagrin of hi base. how do you make where we are? >> well, listening to the three of you and your introduction, i'm just struck a real low point in american politics over a period when there's been pretty good kovcompetition for the low of the low points. i'm also really kind of moved by
the really political malpractice going on. we have an economic recovery on going. >> by the way, you don't really hear people talking about the unemployment rate. you're working to build on the momentum of this recovery. help them prove it so american households can get ahead on their own. through working hard. not through any tax breaks or anything like that. but through getting back to work and getting their paychecks back up. that's what they want to do. >> now, governor, you have had to deal with people of opposing parties. you've had to compromise. you've seen them compromise. that's what government does. but when you get inflexible people that seem to not understand the pain of the ordinary american, how do you break this gridlock?
>> well, it's very hard. and the point you made, rev, is a very good one. the president did move with entitlements and it did anger a cig n significant portion of his base. but the president agrees that you can't set this nation's economy on a healthy path that cease going to take care of our deficit and make it a managinin bart of gdp. he knows we can't asked the republicans to raise it 1.2, 1.3 trillion in revenue. he's reached out and made cig nif kant concessions and the response to that was nothing. it is pathetic. >> jaret, let me ask you, if we go over the cliff, what ps? is there not an immediate impact on people with unemployment insurance and other things?
i mean, what happens if we go over this cliff? >> well, you really have to distinguish between going over the cliff and quickly reversing the damage, meaning in a matter of weeks, which is still impossible. if we go over and stay over, a couple of million people will lose their unemployment benefits. eventually, taxes will increase for millions of others. the payroll tax holiday will probably be gone either way. once we go over the cliff, the economic pain will be forthcoming. >> and can be significant. give me a yes or no. are we going over the cliff? or will it be a last-minute deal? >> i think we're going over. >> yes and i'm hope it's not a cliff dive. >> i'm with jared. >> all right, we'll be watching to see if your predictions come true.
thanks for being on with me tonight. >> thavnnks, rev. >> coming up, where is the leadership. with the clock ticking, speaker boehner is nowhere near washington. and today, blasting extremism. plus, the nra push to arm teachers is picking up steam all over the country. we cannot let it happen. plus, avenue 40 years of service in government, the always quotable barney frank is retiring. wait until you hear what he will miss most. my exit interview with the chairman is coming up. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency.
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we've seen this movie before. last year, it was the debt ceiling, the country's credit rating was downgraded for the first time. and the american people are sick of it. 68% want to compromise on a deal and they're blaming republicans if they don't get one. 53% say they'll blame the gop. boehner can't control his party much less compromise. the nonsense going on shows the tea party still runs the speaker. joining me now is michelle cotter, washington car respondent for "the daily beast" and co-host here on msnbc. this is a bad joke. who is running this party? >> clearly, the tea party is running is this. we had a nation that voted for
obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy. >> that's a good idea. we should raise taxes on the 2% wealthiest people in america. but there's this group of people on the far right that will vote them out of office. they will put up somebody farther right than the people we have in washington and get them out of office. so they're all afraid to vote for a modest tax increase of people who can totally afford it. and that small group of people is dominating this discussion to the detriment of the entire nation. >> john mcccain said this. interesting it has interestingly become clear that the party is against everything and for nothing. nothing on taxes to you. nothing on gun control. nothing on climate change. nothing only gay marriage. nothing on immigration reform on
incremental peace approach which will result in nothing. it's a very odd situation when the losing party is the party refusing to negotiate. it may be how you disrupt, but it is now how you govern or how you ever hope to regain a majority. listen to these strategists from the right. >> we cannot be cowarded by them. when they say things that are culturally insensitive and stupid, we need to go after them and say this is not right. you are alienating voters that we want to atrack. tract. knock it off. should not be defined around who agrees with whatever outrageo outrageousness comes out of the mouth. >> he's been lied to by the
conservative entertainment complex. >> now, michelle, when you look at these are strategists, pun diss on the right, when they oor saying it's time to stand up, how long will it be before boehner and some of those in the congress say i just got to say this is killing our party and is hurting the nation. >> i think john boehner is well aware of the pickle that the party is in. this is a guy who is a pragmatist on some level. but the question is what can he do? you have a base. and the purists are in control of the primary elections and you wind up with a house that doesn't agree with compromise. any time boehner gets too close to some kind of compromise that they don't like, they are standing there with knives ready to kind of oust him and put somebody else in there. >> she's absolutely right. that idea of ideological purism.
you're starting to see this. you're starting to reference the give up debate. they don't want any change, even with 20 babies dead in newtown. they want no new laws. we really have almost no laws restricting guns at all. but they want no new laws, no new change. so they move from the party wealthy, now to the party of glocks. they say don't want people to have the right to bear arms, but they want to have people have the right to bear killing machines that can kill people with 20, 30, 40 round clips. this is not big ten politics. almost all of these policies are insulting some large group of people. >> which is why they lost the election. >> they have a very small coalition. >> they don't even have the reign. but when you look at the polling
even on the fiscal cliff stuff, president obama, rochelle, on a new poll, 54% approve of his handling of the fiscal cliff. only 26% support joan boehner. so the politics of it is not even working for them. they're purists, but they're not being practical, even politically. everyone as they don't stand for what you and i may think is the right thing. they're not even being practical about this. >> well, with taxes, it's so complicated because the republican party has basically got taxation at the heart of its ideology. so what they're almost in a position -- they've force ed ths into a corner where what they almost sl to do is let the cliff kick in so that then they can vote to go back and reinstate some tax cuts as opposed to somehow translating any kind of vote they take, you know, grover
nordquist was going to stand up and say they raised taxes on the wealthy. at this point, they've got the situation so backwards, that they're going to have to let the cliff kick in. >> let me ask you this quickly. we've got some good economic news yesterday. weekly unemployment claims have fallen to the lowest since march, 2008. we've seen some kind of recovery. >> well, we talk about it as a fiscal slope or what have jou. you talked before about unemployment insurance. on january 1, there will be millions of people that will be hurt. that i had're never going to get it back. >> and some of that is immediate. >> yes. and the people who have no say, people who live check-to-check, they can't have their pay -- >> can't have their unemployment benefits cut. even a small bit. there's going to be a lot of pain for millionsover people.
people who we know. >> thanks for joining us. be sure to catch on the cycle weekdays at 3:00 p.m. eastern. ahead, the nra's chief -- the chief's plan. to arm teachers across the country is happening right now. aum over the country. we cannot let this happen. and the obamas reveal some secrets from behind the scenes, including the story behind the most shared photo of all time. stay with us. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook? we hope you will. today, our facebook family was commenting on this picture. it's a familiar one showing the obamas hugging on the campaign trail. you remember it was tweeted right after the election was called. but the caption, four more years. it quickly became the most retweeted photo of all time. now the obamas are talking about what inspired the moment. >> because i love my wife. >> well, and, also, i hadn't seen him in a while. i mean, you know, when you're campaigning, they have two ships passing in the night. and the first time i saw him was when i walked on stage to greet him.
and that's my honey giving me a hug. >> i've given you plenty of hugs. >> janine says everyone wants to be hugged like that. terry says in a wold full of fakes and lies, this moment was genuine. while his hugs may be a hit, president's singing is causing some controversy. but it's not what you think. we'll tell you about that coming up. and we want to hear what you think? please head over to facebook and search "politics nation" and like us to join the confers that keeps going long after the show ends. dude! up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone. one more way quicken loans
having armed guards and armed teachers in our schools is a crazy idea. it's wrong and it's dangerous. but the nra chief thinks more guns will make it safer. >> if we have a police officer in that school, a good guy, if a good guy with a gun had been there, he might have been able to stop him. it's a pretty darn good argument for putting a good guy in the system somewhere with a gun to help our kids. >> a pretty darn good argument? a recent harvard university study shows where there are more guns, there is more homicide. but already, some school officials are rushing to put guns in the hands of teachers. in arizona, the attorney general is proposing a program to arm an employee in every school and give school staff free guns and free training. in ohio, a gun association is offering a firearms training program for teachers. 24 have already signed up.
in utah, a gun group is offering free concealed weapons training for teachers. the training starts today. in texas, a gun store owner is giving teacher'ss a 10% diskouchblt. in minnesota, a teacher was put on administrative leave after bringing a loaded pistol into her school. in new jersey, armed security guards to schools starting next week. this is crazy. arming teachers school officials is danger. now is the time to take action against this. the tifl v teaeachers and civil communities are planning rallies against it. this cannot become a national trend. joining me now is randy weingarten, president of the american federation of teempers and tameka mall ri.
thank you both for joining me font. >> thank you, reverend. >> thanks. >> this is really nuts. >> brandy, i mean, teachers with loaded guns? what do you think? >> so, look. some of these very same states have strict teachers rights to actually have a voice in a classroom. have any latitude over what they do with students, have any latitude over their conditions at work. but, yet, they are rushing to arm teachers and rushing to arm schools. this is really dangerous, irresponsible. what we need -- and a huge diversion from what's going on. we actually need to make kids safer. we actually need to take guns away from kids. we've had 34,000 kids injured this last year because of guns. almost 6,000 kids died at the hands of guns.
what we need to do is make schools into safe san chew wares for kids. nay're rushing sto make a buck off of this. in columbinee there was an armed guard. in virginia tech, there were armed guards across the campus. where is the nra going to stop? do they want an armed forward in every classroom? in every wing? >> if there had been an armed teacher in newtown, would it have made a difference? >> the gun that mr. lanza used was an assault weapon that was capable of firing he ining hund shots every two minutes. the kids who were killed had three to ten shots in them. what is a teacher after maybe three hours after training going
to do with a gun? what is an armed guard who's not a police officer going to do with a gun? what the nra is doing is deflecting attention from the fact that we have too many guns in our streets. you can't har monoize the second amendment and say there's too many guns. if we regulate driving and wall street, why can we not regulate guns. why are we not regulating gun sales? so we're seeing here in the last few days, i understand the mayor, he's scared. but what we need to do is have real gun control. real mental health workers in schools. real ways of having a conversation to make sure that schools are safe havens for kids, safe sanctuaries for kids, not armed fortresses. >> why is the civil rights community up in arms about this? and is this just now that we're starting to see some of us in the civil rights community become concerned about assault
weapons? >> well, absolutely not, reverended. national action network and other civil rights organizations have been engaged in this work to deem wial with the deregulatf gun laws. we have engaged in occupy the corners. we were out on corners all across the city. >> yeah, you would be on all night every weekend. >> absolutely. trying to stand in the kwa of violence on friday, saturday and sunday nights. we also are engaged in a task force against gun violence in new york city right now where we've allotted $5 million to go towards gun violence prevention. in atlanta, they had to shake off the violence campaign where they're working in schools. reverend charles williams has been working on this issue. we have been engaged for many
years in dealing with this. >> let me ask you this. you come as the executive director for us with a personal commitment because in our communities of minorities, we have a disproportionate problem of assault weapons and many of it coming from members of our own community. and you've personally had to deal with this? >> well, absolutely. my son's father was murder in the third degreered ten years ago at the hands of an illegal weapon. and i also deal with victims through my work on a consistent basis. >> i've been working recently with the mother of floyd morgan and his moether and 10-year-old sister. there's a real human side and we cannot allow politics to get in the way and money that is being sent all around.
that is the real, only meaningful contribution that the nra and others have been giving and have been offering is to spread money around and keep people silent. >> randy, the money. you fought since you eve been president after aft and before that, the uft in fork, trying to get teachers better pay. they're going to come up with money to buy guns? ? to aurm people to train them? but they don't have money for teachers to do a better -- to have better pay? >> we don't have money for kids to have art and music. we don't have money for kids to get a decent salary. we don't have money to have smaller class sizes. but all of the sudden, in a hot little minute, we can find millions, billions of dollars to aurm teachers? when what teachers want is to be able to teach.
what kids want is to make sure that their schools are safe and nurturing. >> there has been violence, gun violence, that needs to be abated. and city after city after city. now, what we're seeing, is in rural communities all across america, we see the use of illegal guns or guns in the wrong hands. we need to find a way to har monoize the second amendmented, which one can do and have common sense regulations around guns. we can do that in the united states of america. >> well, you'll be hearing a lo about that. i think it is high time that we deal with this in a way that protects people's rights. but children have the right to become adults. and i think the teachers and civil rights communities and others must rally around common ground for the good of everyone
from the har llems all the way the newtowns. and i'm glad you and others are beginning to do that. thank you both for joining me torn. >> thank you. thank you. >> coming up, the one and only barney frank is leaving washington. but not before his "politics nation" exit interview. you'll want to hear what he's saying about the gop future. and a scandal is brewing around the revvie awards m all. all kinds of out rage. stay with us. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
there's a growing controversy to tell you about tonight. and it has something to do with this. ♪ i am so in love with you >> that's right. all the out rage involves president obama singing. and chris christie is also involved. probably not what you're thinking, though. we'll fill you in ahead. stay wus. le thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference.
than congressman barney frank. for 17 terms and 32 years, he's been a fighter for fairness. the chairman and the man always good for a sound byte or ten. >> trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table. >> think about this. somebody hurt my feelings, so i will punish the country. give me those 12 people's names, and i will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them. >> this is why americans don't trust the government. >> no, this is why your stupidity gets in the way of rational discussion. >> one of the advantages of me not running for office, i don't have to pretend to try to be nice to people i don't like. now, some of you may not think i'm good at it, but i've been trying. >> i caught up with chairman frank last week on one of his last days on the hill.
>> you are leaving congress after 32 years on capitol hill. are you optimistic about the direction that the country is headed? >> very much so. and i think the 2012 election shows i. we have this remnant, these tea party people who held onto 2012. by the i want, the democrats made gains for the house and i'm talking about the extremists who used to have a more reasonable approachment and it was because of the congressional merriment. we have bad luck. the best republican year happened to be 2010, which was the year that the governors and the legislatures elected did congressional redistricting. they said the democrats would is picked up more seats, maybe six more. we wouldn't have controlled the house, but it would have been a significant increase. i think the american public has made it clear that they do not agree with the republican right wing.
they don't want social security and medicare to be taken about. they're not hung up on other people's private lives and emotional lives and they're supporting the people with the same sex right to marry. now on gun control, they're on the wrong side. so i am optimistic that we are going to see the elections of 2012. i think that's the forerunner. i believe we're on the popular side. >> you fought and fought very gallantly for equality for gays and lesbians. tell us where you see gay issues now as opposed to when you came to washington and whether you think that we have made a transformation in this society in terms of the civil rights of gays and lesbians. >> you summarized that very well. 40 years ago, i filed the first gay rights bill. and i've seen enormous progress. for years, i had to deal with
people who said oh, yeah, we agree with you, the politicians. but it's going to hurt us politically. i was delighted in 2012, to see the romney people complaining that obama got votes because he was supported of legal equality of this. i think we're on the verge of getting full legal equality. it's mostly because we started being honest about ourselves. but i will tell you one very important part of it, al, which you know. there was an effort by the right wing through the remembpublican party to marginalize this and go to african americans and hispanics and saying don't associate with those people. and i'm very proud that i've been among those who have worked hard. they have been very strong. and i think that that solidarity has been a major part of our ability to win. >> many americans look at congress and they just see gridlock. can it be fixed, mr. chairman?
>> yes. in the gridlock, it's true. but it's a very spefk reason for it. we weren't gridlocked in 2007 and 2008. we disagreed with them on some issues, but, in fact, 2008, september, just before the election, i and others work with the bush administration to deal with the financial crisis. earlier that year, harry reid and nancy pelosi gave george bush a stimulus. what happened was two things, al. first of all, barack obama got reelected. and for a variety of reasons, the republicans never game barack obama the kind of cooperation we gave george bush. of course you should disagree. but then in the end, you try to work things out. when george bush came to harry reid, we worked with him to go and to come to an agreement. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, said my number one
agenda item is to defeat barack obama. and then in 2010, people were elected who don't believe in govern nans. who don't understand reality. it's not like we've had it forever. we didn't have it before the partisanship and there was some people so offended by the notion that barack obama could win for a variety of reasons, that they decided to delegitize it. i think you're going to see a gradual relinquishment of this kind of obstructionist death grip they have on the party. >> plet me ask you, you're leaving washington after serving so long and so well. what will you miss about washington? and what will you not miss? >> i will miss the chance to affect public policy. and i'll miss the friends there.
other members of congress, and, by the way, one of the great bargains the american people get are the people who work for members of congress. we have a wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful, dedicated group of people. it's great to be able to come to worker day and interact with bright people. what i won't miss is one, the travel. and two, to be honest at this point, the sense of responsibility. for 45 years, i've been working in government, first in the city hall of boston and then the last 32 years in congress. i'm sorry people will still be doing those things, but i need a little rest. >> your proudest moment. what are you feeling is your proudest achievement? is it dodd-frank? >> well, that's one of them. one of them, frankly, has been the successes we've got on getting legal equality for lgbt people.
and i've had a major repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and i was proud of my role in defeating the effort to throw bill clinton out of office, which was a right wing coup efrlt. >> what are your plans for the fu hur? i can't see you sitting by the beach with your feet in the water. >> i'm going to write a couple books. i'll be giving some speeches and i'll be honest, i look forward to getting paid fairly significant amounts of money for what i used to do for free. and then i hope to do some college teaching and, also, maybe a little bit of your line of work. it looks like you're having a good time. >> all right, mr. chairman. thank you for your time tonight. best of luck in your next endeavor and please come back on the show any time. any time. >> thank you, al. thank you. >> coming up, president obama singing.
plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. we're back with a big controversy. brewing about our special show last night, the revvies. it's our annual year-end show where we dress up and give out awards for the high and low politics for the year. it was a lot of fun. but there's one award that's drawing a ton of out rage. here it is. >> but, first, earlier today in a secret, undisclosed location, the revvie was awarded for best musical performance. the nominees were-
>> governor chris christie, everybody. ♪ i'm so in love with you >> and the revvie for best musical performance went to governor chris christie. >> so he beat out president obama. i'll admit, a bik upset. some of our viewers are furious. and they went to facebook to tell us. sandra says chris christie? you've got to be kidding me. kevin says come on, rev. chris christie for best musical performance? it should have been the president. hands down. and yvonne added, obama was robbed in the musical category. i'm going to let you finish, but obama had the greatest musical segment of all time. you can just sense the out cry. look at the headlines from around the globe. revvies rocked. backlash.
and this one from china reads world outcry. in the long, two-year history of the revvies, we haven't seen this kind of backlash, so we decided to investigate. here's the scene tot in new york city. a full review of the best musical performance vote. and even got word of revvie voters stuck in long lines and being turned away by so kaulg c revvie voter id laws. so, for now, for those who feel the president was robbed, our honorary winner is president obama. and we have an immediate reaction to report. the crowds are going wild. [ cheers and applause ]